Special Saturday "Reads Brooklyn" Edition
Being the well-rounded guy that I am, there are quite a few things I enjoy doing when I'm not running (or dissertating, of course). I like going to ballgames, for example (though I've only been to a half-dozen this year), and I'm definitely looking forward to the new opera season (which starts in just a few weeks). But perhaps most of all, I love to read. Because of my Brooklyn explorations I've been spending considerable time thumbing through some useful references, like Leonardo Benardo and Jennifer Weiss' Brooklyn by Name, Francis Morrone's An Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, Ellen Snyder-Grenier's Brooklyn! An Illustrated History, and -- my favorite -- John Manbeck and Kenneth Jackson's The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn on Yale University Press. All of these have proven invaluable in getting to know my way around the borough and in providing me with some very useful background and history on the city and the various neighborhoods I've been visiting.
But I read a lot more than this kind of thing, and my favorite reading material is still good fiction. I realize that "good" is, in part, a value judgment and representative of my own tastes, so -- purely for the purposes of clarification -- here are some of the books I've read recently which fall into this category. Make of it what you will.
- Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
- Ian McEwan, Atonement
- Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist
- Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude
- Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
Anyway... with the passing rain showers and gloomy skies, it seems like a particularly good day to sit by the kitchen window and read for a few hours. I'll be back running tomorrow, so tune in then for more tales from the sidewalks of Kings County. As usual, here's an off-day photo from the archives: